Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Bachelet’

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UN Women@UN_Women

#UNSG praises “visionary” leadership of Michelle #Bachelet, following her announcement of departure from @UN_Women http://owl.li/j1wlQ

Full statement.

Secretary-General Praises ‘Visionary’ Leadership of Michelle Bachelet,

Following Announcement by UN-Women Chief of Departure

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s statement on the announcement by Michelle Bachelet of her departure as Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women):

Ms. Michelle Bachelet has informed me of her intention to step down as Executive Director of UN-Women.  I would like to express my tremendous gratitude for her outstanding service.

Michelle Bachelet was the right person in the right job at the right time.  Her visionary leadership gave UN-Women the dynamic start it needed.  Her fearlessness in advocating for women’s rights raised the global profile of this key issue.  Her drive and compassion enabled her to mobilize and make a difference for millions of people across the world.

Her record of achievement includes new steps to protect women and girls from violence, new advances on health, and a new understanding that women’s empowerment must be at the core of all we do at the United Nations.  This is a stellar legacy, and I am determined to build on it.

I thank Ms. Bachelet for her contributions and wish her every success as she embarks on the next chapter in her extraordinary life.  She will always have a home at the United Nations, and I am confident that she will continue to advance our shared goals for a better future.

Just wondering who out there might be qualified to replace her.  Someone who right now has no official position to prevent her from accepting.  Many saw a certain person we know pretty well taking a position like this at some point.  Someone Michelle knows and respects.  Someone who lives in NY and for whom Michelle might have been willing to place-hold for awhile  … until she was available.  Someone married to another UN employee.  I don’t know!    Can you think of anyone?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Hillary Rodham Clinton,  Michelle Bachelet, 03-02-10-001 Chile's President Bachelet and U.S. Secretary of State Clinton walk together in Santiago 03-02-10-03 Hillary Rodham Clinton,  Michelle Bachelet, 03-02-10-13 03-02-10-14

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Remarks on Women’s Political Participation at UN Women Event


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United Nations
New York City
September 19, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Katie, and indeed it is a pleasure for me to be here with so many friends and colleagues and to be sitting on a panel between my great friend Michelle Bachelet, a former president, and a woman I admire so much, Dilma Rousseff, a current president, in addition to a prime minister and a high representative and a deputy UN secretary general, and to see out in this audience women who are heads of state and heads of government as well as ministers, and other excellencies both male and female who have come here today on behalf of the important issue of women’s political participation. And I particularly thank the prime minister and the president for their remarks and their example, because clearly, as someone who tried to be a president, it is very encouraging to see those who actually end up as a president. (Applause.)

The work that brings us together today is, I think, one of the great pieces of unfinished business in the 21st century. If you look back historically – and it’s always somewhat suspect to do this – but certainly the 19th century, which was a great movement against slavery and the enshrinement of the rights of people, followed by the 20th century with a great struggle against totalitarianism in favor of freedom and democracy; well, here we are in the 21st century, and if we want a safe, secure, prosperous, peaceful future, women must be equal partners and free to realize their own God-given potential.

And what that means is that it’s not only enough for those of us gathered here today to continue the work that many of us are committed to, but it’s also important that we reach out to the new emerging democracies and societies, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, where women have marched and demonstrated, blogged, and put their lives on the line for a future that includes them, their families, their communities, and their countries.

In Libya, women hid fighters, ran guns, contacted journalists, and even fought for freedom. One woman was so inspired she said, “Maybe I can be the new president or the mayor,” – a thought that had never crossed her mind anytime before.

And in many cases, progress is being made. I want to commend Tunisia. I don’t know – is there a representative from Tunisia? Minister. Thank you, Minister. Because in April, the commission responsible for drafting Tunisia’s new electoral code ruled that there must be full gender parity on election candidate lists from the top down. I think we should give Tunisia a round of applause. (Applause.)

Many of us are working closely with our friends in Egypt to ensure that women who played a decisive role in carrying out Egypt’s revolution are not left out of the democratic transformation, because, in effect then, it will not be a true democracy. Women have to be part of the future. And it’s imperative that as constitutions are created, as political parties are organized, as elections are waged and won, nobody can claim a democratic future if half the population is marginalized or even prevented from participating.

We are in an age of participation. Social networking and connective technology has made that a fact. And every party in any democracy should recognize the rights of women and make room for women to play roles in the political process. As the Arab Awakening enters a new chapter, we all have a stake in ensuring that the potential of all citizens – men and women, boys and girls – have a chance to be realized.

That’s why the United States is supporting efforts like the Charter of Egyptian Women. Nearly 300,000 women and men and 500 NGOs signed on to a set of demands for the political, social, and economic rights of the women of Egypt. And we will support Egyptian women in their efforts to serve as community leaders, as business owners, as citizens, as elected officials.

We have tried to put women’s lives and women’s progress at the center of our foreign policy, in everything from our diplomatic efforts to our investments in developing countries. And we will work through multilateral forums—including UN Women under Michelle’s great leadership—to to integrate women’s issues throughout the work of the United Nations.

This Participation Age is a reality, and it will not realize its full potential if women are not viewed legitimately as participants. Now, Persad, when your uncle said, “No, that young girl shouldn’t go to school,” and you said, “Thank goodness for your mother,” that’s a very familiar story. So parents need to recognize the values of their girls, invest in their futures, their education. And then families, communities, societies, need to do the same.

You cannot have the kind of broad-based economic growth that is so necessary in our world’s economy today if women are not able to play their economic roles outside the home as well as inside the home. When we liberate the economic potential of women, we elevate the economic performance of communities, nations, and the world.

And I think as we meet on political participation and as we sign the declaration that I was very pleased to sign before coming in, we recognize that these values that what led to President Rousseff becoming a president, the hard years, the sacrifice, what led to Persad becoming a prime minister, or Cathy Ashton now the first high representative of the European Union, or Michelle Bachelet becoming first the president of her country and then the head of an organization, that we mean to make clear women are involved in every level of the international community.

There are stories like that that are percolating everywhere in the world, and we have to do all we can to value the girl child, to provide support for families so that they recognize and then fulfill the promise of that young girl, and then make sure that the doors are open. And I think these values do not belong to any one culture or any one country; they are universal. One of my predecessors as a first lady of my country was Eleanor Roosevelt, and she was one of the people from around the world who met after World War II to decide on what were universal rights. They came from everywhere.

And the Declaration of Universal Rights that they wrote should still be our guide. And it is not out of fashion, it has not been overtaken by events, it cannot be stopped by ideology or extremism of any kind. And the United Nations must stand firmly behind the rights of all – the rights of women, the rights of men, but in particular for women to sit at every table where decisions are made.

So it’s a great pleasure to be part of this important event. Thank you. (Applause.)

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Joint Declaration: On Advancing Women’s Political Participation

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 19, 2011


Following is a joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the September 19, 2011 United Nations Women event on Women’s Political Participation.


We, the undersigned Heads of State and Government, Foreign Ministers, and High Representatives, affirm that women’s political participation is fundamental to democracy and essential to the achievement of sustainable development and peace.

We reaffirm the human right of women to take part in the Governments of their countries, directly or through freely chosen representatives, on an equal basis with men, and that all States should take affirmative steps to respect and promote women’s equal right to participate in all areas and at all levels of political life.

We stress the critical importance of women’s political participation in all contexts, including in times of peace, conflict and in all stages of political transition.

We recognize the essential contributions women around the world continue to make to the achievement and maintenance of international peace and security and to the full realization of human rights; to the promotion of sustainable development; and to the eradication of poverty, hunger, and disease. Even so, we are concerned that women in every part of the world continue to be largely marginalized from decision-making, often as a result of discriminatory laws, practices, and attitudes, and due to poverty disproportionately affecting women.

We reaffirm our commitment to the equal rights and inherent human dignity of women enshrined in the United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other relevant international human rights instruments. We call upon all States to ratify and fulfill their obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and to implement fully Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women and Peace and Security and other relevant UN resolutions.

We call upon all States, including those emerging from conflict or undergoing political transitions, to eliminate all discriminatory barriers faced by women, particularly marginalized women, and we encourage all States to take proactive measures to address the factors preventing women from participating in politics such as violence, poverty, lack of access to quality education and health care, the double burden of paid and unpaid work, and to actively promote women’s political participation including through affirmative measures, as appropriate.

We reaffirm and express full support for the important role of the United Nations system in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and we welcome UN Women and its mandate in this regard.

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Excellent choice! Great news! Congratulations Mme. President!

Michelle Bachelet’s Appointment To Head UN Women

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC
September 14, 2010

On behalf of the people of the United States, I want to congratulate former President Michelle Bachelet of Chile on her appointment to head the newly formed United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – UN Women. I have been privileged to work alongside President Bachelet on a variety of important issues, especially advancing opportunities for women.
As long as I have known President Bachelet, the needs of women and marginalized populations have topped her list of priorities. She has broken barriers for women in Chile and throughout the region, and I am inspired by her passion, her expertise, and her courage to speak out on difficult issues. These are the indispensible qualities that make her an excellent choice to lead UN Women.
With President Bachelet at the helm, UN Women will be a powerful force in our shared work to elevate the status of women and girls. It will strengthen the UN’s work on women and girls, mainstream gender equality throughout the UN system, and ensure that these issues enjoy their rightful status.
As a longtime champion for the rights of women and girls and a proven political leader, President Bachelet is the ideal person to launch this important new agency that will help millions of people around the world improve their lives.

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The State Department posted these videos from the past week.  Secretary Clinton was in Chile on Tuesday,  and these videos show her with President Michelle Bachelet speaking to the press.   I see a special chemistry between these two leaders.

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Morning update: The Secretary of State landed in earthquake-stricken Chile. She was greeted at the airport in Santiago by outgoing President Michelle Bachelet.

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What a way to begin Women’s History Month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hillary’s travel plans changed today.

When her itinerary was made public, and Argentina was not on it, I was disappointed. As it happened, due to the earthquake in Chile, there was a change in the itinerary. Rather than spending the night in Santiago, she and her entourage flew instead to Buenos Aires where Hillary Rodham Clinton was received by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. How perfect! Here’s why.

Cristina Kirchner was elected President on the heels of her husband Nestor’s service in that post, i.e. she was once First Lady of Argentina, and now Nestor is “First Spouse.” They both, all of their political lives have been and still are members of the Justicialista Party.

The Justicialista Party (a social justice party representing working class people and the poor) was formed by another famous political couple, Juan Domingo Peron and his wife Maria Eva Duarte de Peron aka “Evita.” Here they are on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s equivalent of our White House. Eva Peron did not have the educational advantages of Hillary Clinton, Cristina Kirchner, or Michelle Bachelet, but she WAS smart. She had excellent political instincts and a strong dedication to the disadvantaged. Whatever you may think you know about her, she remains revered by Argentines who actually THANK Americans who visit the tomb where she lies. She did many good things, and most who know about her understand that she really was the brilliant mind behind her husband’s political success.

Eva wanted to run for Vice President and was nominated by the Justicialista Party in 1951, but the military opposed her and forced her off the ballot. She died the following year of cancer. July 26 at 8:20 p.m. many still light a candle and say a prayer for her. Some believe she is a saint and pray TO her for her intercession. I personally would not be unhappy to see the Catholic Church shake off its political chains and beatify her.

After her death, Peron remained in office until he was overthrown in 1954 and Evita’s body disappeared. He remarried in the interim and lived in Spain with his third wife, Isabel Martinez de Peron. In the early 1970’s Eva’s body was found buried in Italy and returned to Peron and Isabelita (as she was called then). The body was perfectly preserved (and remains so as far as we know). In 1973, Juan Peron, Isabelita, and the body of Eva Peron returned to Argentina where Isabel and Eva’s sisters had her properly interred.

Peron went on to run for the presidency in 1973 with Isabel as his Vice Presidential running mate. They won. When he died in office in 1974, Isabel Peron became the first woman president in the world.

She lasted two years, was overthrown by a military coup that began Argentina’s “Dirty War” that led to the rise of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo who demonstrated peacefully in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada with pictures of their disappeared children.

The failure of  the Argentine military against U.K. forces in the sovereignty dispute that led to The Falklands War, a topic Cristina may bring up as sovereignty raises its head again, (the Argentines call these islands the Malvinas)in 1982 was the beginning of the end of military rule in Argentina.  The next year, Raul Alfonsin, a civilian, was elected.

So this post is to celebrate Hillary and Cristina in the Casa Rosada – so RICH with women’s history, and the help they plan to offer Michelle Bachelet, outgoing President of Chile, and all the spirit – the very STRONG spirit  of Evita that must permeate the room we see in the pictures below.

I am blown away!  Happy March 1!  Happy Women’s History Month!

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Earlier today, as I was able to grab a few minutes here and there, I posted a series of pictures from Secretary Clinton’s day in Uruguay.  Well, there was a plethora of pictures from today by the time I got home, so these are some more I want to share.

Here she is arriving in Montevideo.  When she travels, I really like to have the obligatory arrival picture.  She has a way of walking down those steps.

She also has a way of walking the tarmac..
This next series show her with outgoing Uruguayan President Tabare Vaquez.  I love their greeting. 

She also met with the President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo.

She attended the inauguration at the Legialative Palace.

Originally, she was also  supposed to meet with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Uruguay and then to leave after the inauguration for Chile, however, those plans changed today.  Instead of meeting with Kirchner in Uruguay, and instead of going directly to Chile, she flew, instead to Buenos Aires, and was received by Kirchner there.  (Upcoming separate post on this because there’s just more history to that than I want to handle in this post.)  She will visit Chile tomorrow.  Apparently that stop has been attenuated to some extent, but she certainly will meet with President Michelle Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera.

So this afternoon, she boarded her Hillforce One for the short hop to B.A.  (Ohhhh!  I wish I were there.  Someday, I HAVE to go to Argentina!)

Upcoming: Hillary with Cristina at the Casa Rosada. 

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Some people were wondering about this.

Clinton to make Chile stop despite earthquake

Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:16pm EST


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures during a joint news conference with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal in Riyadh February 15, 2010. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will pay a scheduled visit to Chile this week as part of her Latin American tour despite the massive earthquake that hit the country, a senior U.S. official said on Sunday.


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This statement was issued a short time ago.

Earthquake in Chile

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 27, 2010

We are closely monitoring reports from Chile and across the Pacific rim, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have loved ones affected by this tragedy.

The United States stands ready to provide necessary assistance to Chile in the days and weeks ahead and is coordinating closely with senior Chilean officials on the content and timing of such support. Our Embassy in Santiago has established a command center and is working to ensure the safety of any affected American citizens.

I leave for the region tomorrow and will be in close contact with President Bachelet and other leaders. Our Hemisphere comes together in times of crisis, and we will stand side by side with the people of Chile in this emergency.

This statement from the Bureau of Consular Affairs provides information for those affected by the earthquake and related events.

This information is current as of today, Sat Feb 27 2010 17:13:46 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time).
Earthquake in Chile: Consular Assistance

* A large earthquake shook Chile at 3:34 a.m. with its epicenter in Chile’s 8th district, 73 miles north of Chile’s secondmost populous city Concepcion and 197 miles south of Santiago. At the epicenter, the quake was measured at 8.8 Richter, at 7.5 in Santiago and shook for an estimate 3 minutes.

* There are rolling blackouts in Santiago, land telephone line service is intermittent and cell phones also appear to be affected

* There have been no reports of American citizen fatalities or injuries. As telephone and email communication becomes dependable, it may be easier to contact family and friends in Chile using SMS (Cell text message) or other forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

* If you are concerned about a U.S. citizen in the affected area and have not been able to reach that person, you can contact the Chile Task Force by email at ChileEarthquake@state.gov. or by calling 1-888-407-4747. Please provide as much information about the individual (full name, birth date and birth place, location and contact information in Chile, any special circumstances) to assist us in locating the U.S. citizen.

* Chilean officials are asking that, unless there is an emergency need to leave, private citizens should remain in their homes, if not damaged, and stay off the roads.

* The following is a link to the FEMA website with instructions for what to do after an earthquake: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/eq_after.shtm. In short:

• Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent.
• Listen to a battery-operated radio or television. Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
• Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
• Stay away from damaged areas. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
• Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance.
• Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
• Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.
• Inspect utilities: Check for gas leaks, look for electrical system damage, check for sewage and water lines damage.

Americans living or traveling in Chile are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Chile. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile, phone number 56-2-330 30 00, fax 56-2-330 30 05, U.S. Citizen Services Unit email: SantiagoAmcit@state.gov

The Chile earthquake triggered tsunami warnings for the entire Pacific basin. Warden messages are going out to U.S. citizens who have registered their presence with Embassies in the affected countries.

The messages are advising U.S. citizens living near or visiting the coastal areas to take appropriate precautions and monitor tsunami warnings on http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/ and http://www.cnn.com, as well as local news sources.

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